Bubba barely makes the cut

AUGUSTA • Bubba Watson was handed a Masters lifeline on Friday, after a second straight 75 left him convinced that at six over, he would miss the cut at Augusta National for the first time.

But with playing conditions turning brutal in the afternoon due to the wind and slick greens, the cut line moved out from three over to six over and he eased back in.

The 37-year-old left-hander from Florida won Green Jackets in 2012 and 2014, both times in fine fashion, and many believed he could make it three even-year wins this year.

But despite fine form on the PGA Tour of late, he never quite got to grips with the course on Thursday and Friday as breezy conditions knocked him out of sync on both days.

"Very disappointing. Got to wait a year to attack it again," he said, assuming at that stage, wrongly as it turned out, that he would not make the cut. "The golf course beat me this year and so I've just got to improve, try to get better around this place."

Friday's round was a struggle for the Ryder Cup player from start to finish. He dropped a shot to start with and had three bogeys in a row from the fourth hole to go out in 39.

  • MASTERS ROUND 2

  • Par-72 Augusta National (Selected, USA unless stated)

  • 140 Jordan Spieth 66 74

  • 141 Rory McIlroy (Nir) 70 71

  • 142 Scott Piercy 70 72, Danny Lee (Nzl) 68 74

  • 143 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 71 72, Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 69 74, Brandt Snedeker 71 72

  • 144 Dustin Johnson 73 71, Sergio Garcia (Esp) 69 75, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 72 72

  • 145 Jason Day (Aus) 72 73, Bernhard Langer (Ger) 72 73

  • 146 Lee Westwood (Eng) 71 75, Justin Rose (Eng) 69 77

  • 147 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 72 75, Adam Scott (Aus) 76 72, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 72 76

  • 149 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 72 77, Martin Kaymer (Ger) 74 75 150 Bubba Watson 75 75

  • 151 (CUT): Phil Mickelson 72 79

  • 152 Zach Johnson 72 80

  • 153 Rickie Fowler 80 73, Ernie Els (Rsa) 80 73

  • ON TV

    Day 4: Singtel TV Ch115 & StarHub Ch209, 11.30pm

That left him with a mountain to climb to have a chance of making the cut and another two bogeys at the 10th and 12th spelled the end for him as he looked uncomfortable and distracted.

Watson did have the possible excuse that he had not been feeling well coming into Augusta, but he refused to use that as a crutch.

"The illness is a sinus infection and allergies and, yes, I'm still dealing with it right now," he said.

"It affected me, but if I was in perfect health, I probably still could have missed the cut."

He is on course to play at the Rio Olympics as the second-ranked American after Jordan Spieth and he expressed an eagerness to represent his country.

"Right now I'm on the team, but I've got to keep playing good to stay on the team. But, yeah, it would be an honour to play for the US Olympic team. It would be a thrill."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 10, 2016, with the headline 'Bubba barely makes the cut'. Print Edition | Subscribe